Spring is a time of renewal allowing us to find balance and focus on restoring energy to the entire body. The following yoga sequence is a yin practice designed to balance the chakras with guided steps for how to use and make your own aromatherapy.
The Sanskrit word Chakra literally translates to wheel or disk. I was recently in NYC this past week taking a yoga class and it got me thinking about the need for an entire body practice focused on a sequence for spring to find balance. Recently I've felt very imbalanced between work and life and the need for a slower yoga practice has resonated with me. This practiced is designed to allow for focus on the chakras or wheels of energy throughout the body. There are seven main chakras, which align the spine, starting from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head.
The practice is recommend to be taken in this order and each pose held between 3-5 minutes. An aromatherapy corresponds with each chakra, so a recommended Young Living oil is placed next to each and how I recommend using it throughout the flow.
Centering: Sit for five minutes in stillness. Focus on the breath simply at first by noticing the breath. Yin practice does not traditionally focus on pranayama, but taking a few minutes to allow yourself to set an intention before you begin can help you draw inward.
1. Muladhara Chakra (Essential Oil- Patchouli)
I create sprays with Young Living essential oils. It is one of the main reasons that I first bought a Premium Starter Kit. You can buy a glass spray bottle anywhere online. The ones I use are 1 oz bottles. Add about 10 drops of the oil and fill it with water. You can buy a pack 12 of bottles for about $10.00. A 15ml bottle of Patchouli with my wholesale discount costs me $33.75 and contains 250 drops ($0.13 a drop). This means I made my aromatherapy for about $2.30. One of these bottles lasts me around a month in privates and classes.
Begin in either Legs up the Wall or Seated Forward Fold (hold for 3-5 Minutes)
If you are beginning in a Seated Forward Fold you may want to sit on the edge of a blanket or roll up the edge of your yoga mat to take tension off of the lower back. Suffer from tight hamstrings? Keep a bend in the knees. Draw focus to the center of energy at the bottom of the spine, grounding the sitting bones into the mat.
2. Svadhistana Chakra (Essential Oil- Frankincense)
I use Frankincense as a roller and apply to the right wrist to inhale the scent. Rollers can be purchased as a Glass Roll On for Aromatherapy. I add Fractionated Coconut Oil to the roller and add 10 drops of Young Living Frankincense Essential Oil.
Supported Butterfly (Baddha Konasana)—The hips are the focus area and opening to encourage awareness of 2nd chakra svadhistana. Students can lay back on a bolster and blocks to open the chest. This feels especially nice if you've just taken the forward fold to find contrast in the body.
3. Manipura Chakra (Essential Oil- Acceptance blend of Rosewood, Geranium, Frankincense, Blue Tansy, Sandalwood, Neroli)
I use this blend in an oil dropper mixed with Fractionated Coconut Oil and Acceptance. This blend is nice applied to the temples. The scent can be inhaled, but allows for focus on this chakra where the mind has trouble, doubt, or maybe frustration with Acceptance. The blend contains Neroli, which is has been regarded traditionally by the Egyptian people for its great ability to heal the mind, body, and spirit. It is calming and relaxing to the body and spirit. It may also help strengthen and stabilize the emotions.
Supine Twists (Jathara Parivartanasana)—Three to five minutes on each side. Reclined twists put some pressure on the solar plexus area gently massaging the organs in the abdominal area. The knees are together and supported by the ground. The hands can be at a "t" shape or open with the elbows slightly bent. If knees and back are tight a blanket can be placed in-between the legs for comfort.
4. Anahata Chakra (Essential Oil- Gentle baby) blend of Rosewood, Geranium, Palmarosa, Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, Lemon, Jasmine, Bergamot, Rose).
I choose usually to use this blend for 4th chakra because of the intense scent is has as it corresponds to the heart region as well as the blend containing Rose. I put the oil into a dropper mixed with Fractionated Coconut oil and apply to the hands. The scent can be inhaled for 5-10 breaths slowly to draw focus during the pose below.
Sphinx or Seal (Bhujangasana)—Laying down in a belly backbend, place the front body on the mat. I like to use a blanket on top of the mat for added support. Take Sphinx laying all the way on the front body and coming to the forearms. I encourage people to relax the leg and bum muscles and stretch front upper part of the upper body by dropping the rib cage towards the mat. The aromatherapy can be placed in the hands as a direct way to inhale the scent. Make sure to rest flat with the head down on the ground or come into child's pose to rest the spine after the pose.
5. Vishudda Chakra (Essential Oil-bergamot)
Bridge Pose- Come to lay on your back. Pull the feet parallel to one another allowing the hips to lift. I place two blocks on the medium side and use the blocks side by side for a more restorative version of this pose. The neck is exposed allowing focus to draw on the center of communication at Vishudda Chakra. Eyes closed and hips elevated. Come back to a flat spine on the ground after this pose either by drawing the knees together or a Happy Baby pose. Spray or use an aromatic diffuser to inhale bergamot.
6. Ajna Chakra (Essential Oil- Cedarwood)
Child’s Pose (Balasana)—In this posture, the sixth chakra is activated by gently resting the spot in the between the eyebrows on the mat. I like to use Cedarwood as the essential oil in a spray. The scent is so relaxing and if you are doing this late at night can also help with sleep and to relax before laying in bed. Extend the arms forward or take them to the heels to relax.
7. Sahasrara Chakra (Essential Oil- lavender)
Meditation. Sit or lay down for final meditation. For tips on how to mediate check out my publications here. Use an aromatherapy diffuser from Young Living. Add water and a few drops of Lavender essential oil to help relax. This will carry you through final Savasana. The one thing I love about the diffuser is that is automatically shuts off, so no needing to worry about putting out a flame or if you fall asleep turning it off!
8. Savasana (5-10 mins)
For questions on any of the essential oils, please email me at email@example.com or purchase here.
In a world filled with smells and scents, how do you weed through essential oils, incense, perfume, candles to know what won't irritate friends and family this season? Simple-- take out the components that surround the fragrance that cause irritants and just use pure essential oils. With everyone going back to a more natural way of eating with fresh veggies, free range meat, and a nut and seed based diet why wouldn't you look at the other elements that you are bringing into your home? When you burn or spray these into the air you are directly inhaling petrochemicals in many cases.
A little over a year ago, I started doing research on fragrance and scents that would be a good option for my in-home yoga clients. Most students are usually really bothered by incense, creams, and other products on the market and I was pretty fed up with not being able to use products that I could trust on my own children. If I wouldn't put it on my family or myself I wasn't going to use it! This is what I stand by now in using any products on my yoga students. This was something that was very important for me in learning about oils and how they worked and also served as a health benefit to family and friends.
Essential oils are obtained through highly labor-intensive processes which extract the vital essence of aromatic plants from the flowers, fruits, sap, seeds or skin of the plant, as well as the bark, leaves, roots, resins or wood of certain trees. These oils are often referred to as the "life force" of plants and contain unique and varied therapeutic properties. Now let me just say that I am ONLY commenting and recommending Young Living products, due to their Seed to Seal quality. Many essential oils that you find at a whole market will not be therapeutic quality, so when you use Young Living you are using the highest quality with only essential oils nothing added.
Many companies blend a minimal amount of essential oils with synthetic fragrances, perfumes, chemical enhancers and boosters in an attempt to cut costs and create a stronger, longer lasting odor. "Made with pure essential oils" often translates to an ingredient list with a small percentage of essential oils and a majority of the scent coming from a number of carcinogenic and toxic petrochemicals. (Source Wax Out Way) A 1986 report by the National Academy of Sciences reports that 95 percent of the chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum and include benzene derivatives, aldehydes and many other known toxins and synthesizers capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions. Paraffin is what is made up of most candles and is a petroleum waste product and has to be deodorized and chemically bleached before it can be made in to wax.
There are some great candle alternatives on the market like soy (note- soy is often genetically modified though) and beeswax is also a safer bet (though oils are best).
This is one of the main reasons why many people are so sensitive to smells and have problems with candles and incense. What a difference we have seen in not having to worry about burning a candle in our home, but also using water and a few drops of essential oils helps purifier the air by using a diffuser (made of medical grade plastic only). Although at times I miss the pretty look of candles I am not willing to trade the health of my family for it.
If you want to learn more about how to get essential oils into your home drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or purchase a Young Living Starter Kit here.
When I think about small gifts under $30 to give to friends, family, teachers, and clients I always want to gift something that people will use and love. I struggle to find items that are not only affordable, but healthy options that will be a hit. It's always hard to find things that are unique, so here's a list of my favorite items for the holidays from Young Living.
1. Orb Diffuser (Item #5227)
The portable USB Orb™ Diffuser is specially designed to be spill proof, making it ideal for the office, the car, or at home, and provides intermittent (blue LED light) or continuous (green LED light) diffusion for up to 4.5 hours. Includes three wicks that make it perfect for the home or office.
2. Travel Fan (Item #4457)
The Travel Fan is capable of diffusing any essential oil. It diffuses by blowing cool air through the essential oil pad, releasing the therapeutic benefits of the essential oil into the air and allowing the oils to be easily absorbed. The Travel Fan Diffuser uses a quiet but powerful mini fan and all natural high-density essential oil pads.
3. Satin Facial Scrub Mint (Item #3735)
Satin Facial Scrub™ Mint is an advanced cleansing formula designed for normal skin. It cleans, nourishes, and stimulates without damaging the skin's natural pH balance. Safe, gentle ingredients help to exfoliate and rejuvenate the skin for a fresher, smoother appearance. Contains MSM, antioxidant vitamins, and botanicals.
4. Lavender Essential Oil (Item #3575)
Lavender essential oil may compliment your favorite shampoos, lotions and skin care products. Because it is the most versatile of all essential oils, no home should be without it. Add it to a glass bottle with water and 10-15 drops to make your own spray for home. Place a few drops in your vacuum cleaner for a fresh scent. Keep it on hand for a sweet and sleep soak with Epsom salts. This is a must for any home!
5. Thieves Holiday Collection (Item #5518D)
Okay technically this is $33.60 wholesale pricing, but it's on sale and three of my absolute favorite Thieves items. The set includes Thieves Mouthwash, Thieves Hand Spray, and Thieves Household Cleaner. I can honestly say that I use every one of these items every single day. The Thieves Hand Spray alone is around $9.00 wholesale and makes an amazing gift for a teacher who wants a quick clean up. This is also my favorite gift for moms to be for their diaper bag (use it daily post diaper change for my two kiddos).
6. Stress Away Roll On (Item #4472)
This is in my purse at ALL times!!! The roll on is a unique blend of vanilla, lime, copaiba, and other pure essential oils that relieves daily stress, encourages relaxation, and reduces nervous tension.
7. Tranquil Roll On (Item #3533)
Any time I feel additionally stressed or need help sleeping (kids included) this is my go to oil. I apply it on my feet to help me drift off to sleep. It is a proprietary blend of lavender, cedarwood and roman chamomile essential oils formulated to calm and relax the body and mind. Using the roll-on application , Tranquil provides convenient and portable relaxation.
8. Animal Scents Gift Set (Item #5528)
Don't forget to add your furry family members to your list! This set includes T-Away™ to provide a soothing scent for your pets and a yellow squishy ball for some fun times together. A portion of all proceeds from Animal Scents® products goes to support Vital Ground, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the habitat of grizzly bears and other wide-roaming wildlife.
9. KidScents Toothpaste (Item #4574)
One of the better stocking stuffers for your little ones! The formula is an all-natural toothpaste for kids that uses Thieves® and Slique™ Essence essential oil blends to gently clean and protect teeth. This safe, yet effective, blend promotes healthy teeth without the use of fluoride, dyes, synthetic colors, artificial flavors, or preservatives
Interested in some of Young Living more popular items? Check out this amazing Black Friday sale going on now!!
20 percent off favorites such as the Aria™ Ultrasonic Diffuser, Life 5™, and NingXia Red.
10. Shutran Shave Cream (Item
For the man in your life...check out this shave cream made with pure essential oils and moisturizing botanicals, Shutran™ Shave Cream delivers an incredibly close, smooth shave. Combining hydrating palm, grape seed, and olive oils, naturally derived vitamin E complex, and mango and cocoa butter, this luxurious shave cream provides a frictionless glide to reduce razor burn and nicks.
Looking for more ideas? Don't forget about the Premium Starter Kit from Young Living. Includes 11 oils, a diffuser, samples, and lots of extra goodies. Starting today ending Nov. 29th at midnight buy a Starter Kit and Add on either the Orb or Travel Fan diffuser to your order and get it for free. (More details contact email@example.com).
Check out these promos from Young Living including my Favorite NingXia red!!!
Because of huge demand, the quantity of 5-ml Helichrysum essential oil that Young Living set aside for the promotion has all been ordered, so instead they are offering a 15-ml PanAway® (Item No. 3390D) essential oil blend at 20 percent off through November 27! This is m favorite blend for sports recovery! Such a great deal for Black Friday!
Interested in ordering contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Around the holidays we are usually stocking our kitchens and finding new things to try at home for guests. One of the reasons I love using essential oils in my home is that with two kids it is usually not as spotless as I would like it to be. We love diffusing essential oils to bring aromatherapy into the air helping our house smell nice
(it seriously smells like Christmas) while using an essential oil like Thieves boosts our immune system! Here is a homemade holiday recipe I tried out this week prior to Thanksgiving that was a hit in my house using Thieves.
I know what you are thinking...seriously who has time for making their own handsoap? This was pretty much me this time last year before I started reading up on why it was healthier to make a triclosan free soap at home or buy ones without it. Triclosan is an ingredient added to many consumer products to reduce or prevent bacterial contamination. (Read more from the FDA here). It has been known to be linked to liver and inhalation toxicity, and even low levels of triclosan may disrupt thyroid function. The American Medical Association recommends that triclosan not be used in the home, as it may encourage bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Read a fact sheet here. This is another reason we LOVE using Young Living Thieves Waterless Purifier and Spray when we are out and out shopping this holiday season or at the playground where a sink and soap are not accessible. Both products are safer for our family.
Around the holidays people are traveling more and coming in contact with one another which leads to more germs being shared. Hand washing with basic soap and water effectively prevents the spread of infection. It also prevents the transfer of toxic chemicals from your hands to your mouth. Scientists have found that children actually ingest more chemicals off their hands than from mouthing toxic products directly. Thieves soap provides the benefit of being a healthy option, averages around $5.00 to make (plus you have it on hand to refill), and SMELLS like CHRISTMAS.
Here's the recipe:
Thieves Foaming Hand WashBenefits:
Thieves® essential oil blend was inspired by the legend of four 15th-century French thieves who formulated a special aromatic combination composed of clove, rosemary, and other botanicals they used while robbing the dead and dying. Thieves supports healthy immune function, and it includes Eucalyptus radiata essential oil, which may help maintain a healthy respiratory system. When taken as a dietary supplement, Thieves is an ideal complement to a daily wellness regimen.
What you’ll need:
Hand soap bottle with pump (I used one I bought from Home Goods)
2 Tablespoons Castile Soap (Amazon or a whole living market)
1 Tablespoon Fractionated Coconut Oil (Amazon or a whole living market)
6 Drops Vitamin E oil (optional for added moisturizer..I bought one from Trader Joes in the vitamin section)
1. Open your soap container and mix 2 tablespoons of castile soap, 1 tablespoon of fractionated coconut oil, and 6 drops of vitamin E oil (optional).
2. Then drop in 10 drops of Thieves essential oil
3. Once the bubbles settle, fill bottle with distilled water.
4. Screw on cap and shake to mix.
Musings on CrossFit, yoga, training, and essential oils!